Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Rereadathon 4: Part one, Weds 10th - Tues 16th August

Thanks to Bex for hosting the Rereadathon

Wednesday 10th August:

Rereadathon #4 has begun! I always love these weeks of guilt-free rediscoveries of favourites. The last things I read were very much read-once books, so it's good to go back to something I know I'll enjoy. And this rereadathon just so happens to coincide with my summer holiday, so even more reading time for me! I'm hoping to read at least four or five books from my pile.

The TBR:

I'm more of a "mood" reader, so any to-read piles I create are only ever provisional. But the books listed are all ones I've fancied returning to for a while. Please excuse my untidy desk!

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft - Stephen King
Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman
Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell
Guards! Guards!, Men At Arms, Feet of Clay - Terry Pratchett (although I'll probably only read one of these, most likely Feet of Clay as I've been following Mark Reads Discworld and he's up to this one, making me want to reread.)
Watchmen - Alan Moore

Not pictured:
Either Pigeon Post or The Picts and the Martyrs - Arthur Ransome (I need to borrow these from my parents)
Carrie - Stephen King (I think this was a library book when I read it before so need to borrow it or buy my own copy.)

  • Who are you and where are you reading from? My name's Katie, and as I'm from the Isle of Wight. But the last part of the rereadathon will take place in Cardiff and Bath next week.
  • Do you re-read often? Is this your first re-readathon? I reread periodically, maybe one or two books a month, compared with six to eight new books. And no, I'm one of the founding rereadathonners (probably Bex's chief egger-on) and have taken part in all of them to date. 
  • Are you planning to read other things as well or re-read exclusively over the next 10 days? As I said earlier, I'm not a strict planner, but I have set this time aside for rereading.
  • Recommend us one book, what would it be? I'll go away from my usual two (Anne of Green Gables and Neverwhere) and suggest Stephen King's 11.22.63. It's a break away from the horror genre you might think of, and is a really smart, engrossing time-travel story, all about a man who goes back in time to try to stop the assassination of John F. Kennedy. But time does not like to be messed around with, and meanwhile, Jake has made a comfortable life for himself in the 1960s, and fallen in love. It's a huge chunk of book, coming up for 800 pages, but definitely worth the commitment; There was a TV adaptation earlier this year, which was pretty good but only broadly followed the original story, and the book's strength lies in making you care about the characters' everyday lives just as much as the race-against time main plot. 
  • What are you reading first? On Writing by Stephen King. It's a mixture of autobiography and writing manual, one that creative writing instructors like to recommend, and through the book King shows how inspiration can come from the most unlikely sources. So far I've read through his childhood, early writing career and big breakthrough with Carrie, through his alcoholism and drug addiction, up to the point where his wife stepped in and demanded that he get his act together. 

What else I've been up to:

It was my best friend Judith's birthday today, and so she and I, her boyfriend, brother and youngest sister had a picnic in her local park. It's Cowes Week on the Isle of Wight - a big sailing regatta when lots of tourists come to the island, so the park was quite full, with a ferris wheel and posh car display going on, but we managed to bag a place under a favourite tree and eat chicken and salad, jammy scones and lots of cake and crisps, taking it easy and enjoying the atmosphere and each other's company. Also, my sister Jenny is home for a few days, so we took a drive out to the sea in a vain hunt for a decent sunset. It was too cloudy really, but she got some nice photos and we had a good sing-along to Queen in the car. Now I plan to do a bit more rereading before going to bed, hopefully a bit earlier than last night (about 1AM, as I'd waited up for Jenny to come down from London straight from work.)

Thursday 11th August

What I've read:

I spent most of this morning finishing off On Writing, where it becomes more of a writing manual. I don't necessarily agree with everything he says - I'm much more of a plotter than he is, and like to have at least a broad outline that becomes more detailed as my stories take shape. But he has some great advice; this book is a worthwhile read for any aspiring writer.

Now I'm rereading Anne of the Island, the third in L. M. Montgomery's series, which follows Anne Shirley through her college years, with new experiences and friendships and her first romances - which do not turn out at all as she had imagined as a child. She's just met the irrepressible Philippa Gordon for the first time - one of my favourite characters in the series.

What else I've been up to:

My sister, her best friend Becky and I went to the beach this afternoon, starting off with (another) picnic, swimming in the sea and throwing a ball around, before finishing off with massive ice creams. It had been cloudy all morning, but as we drove towards the coast, the sun came out and we had a glorious afternoon.

Although I've given myself a holiday from writing as well as work (I've got a couple of friends and family reading through my work in progress for feedback, a very nerve-wracking experience!) I just can't keep away. There are a couple of very different short stories brewing up in my head, and I'd like to get one of these ("Lola's Story") outlined before I return to Anne's adventures in Redmond College.

Friday 12th August

What I've been reading: After doing some laundry and chores, I spent the morning and early afternoon reading Anne of the Island out in the garden, as it was another gorgeously sunny day. With Anne I've bidden farewell to one of her childhood friends, turned down a couple of marriage proposals (including a very foolish rejection) and now am about to meet the brooding and romantic and incredibly dull "man of her dreams." Ugh, Roy Gardner!

What else I've been up to: I went down to Cowes this afternoon, where there's a bit of a festival atmosphere and lots of different kinds of street food and drinks tents (and even a giant teapot-shaped hut selling Pimms!) for the "red trouser yachtie brigade" who come to the Isle of Wight for the Cowes Week sailing events. It's a friends-and-family tradition to spend the Friday night either on the green by the seafront or having a barbecue on a more isolated stretch of beach, before watching the firework display that concludes the week. This year was no exception. I ran into my newest work colleague in the geek shop, and she joined us for a little while. Afterwards, I wasn't feeling particularly sociable and buried myself in my book, but I was in the sort of company where that is perfectly acceptable, and it was nice just to be with them, not doing very much, but eating paella and drinking rum and coke together.

My father has nearly finished reading my work in progress and has been giving me some helpful and encouraging feedback on it, a few last things to sort out in my final draft! I can't believe how close this story is to being ready for submission!

Saturday 13th August

What I've been reading: I finished off Anne of the Island, a book I've read so many times and know inside out, and yet I still found myself sniffling through the last couple of chapters. It's a powerful book when it can continue to have such an effect on you despite familiarity. Next up is Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett, "the one with the golems."

What else I've been up to: It's extremely rare for me to not be working on a Saturday, and even rarer to be at home for it. But it's been a rather quiet sort of day. My sister went home after lunch - the time she was on the island went so quickly! I made some arrangements with my friend Anna for when I go to Cardiff next week (before the Bath Bookshop Crawl.) My cousin Sally has also been on the island this week, touring with her choir, and I went to see them perform at one of the local churches this evening. They put on a lovely variety concert, traditional and popular songs as an ensemble, with a clarinet solo from one member of the group, and four of the lads forming a barbershop quartet. They're a very talented choir.

Sunday 14th August

What I've been reading: Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett. It's the third book in the City Watch sub-series, and one of the best, a proper whodunnit, in which Samuel Vimes and his team investigate the poisoning and attempted murder of Ankh-Morpork's fearsome tyrant Lord Vetinari (who nonetheless makes the city a little bit less dangerous than if he were not there.)

What else I've been up to: This morning I went to the dedication service for one of my oldest friends' two children, Zachary and Alexander. (Similar to a christening but this denomination leaves the actual baptism until you're old enough to decide for yourself.) The rest of the day was very quiet, leaving plenty of time to read my book and have a little nap, as I was feeling a little under the weather.

Monday 15th August

What I've been reading: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. It was a Christmas present from Ellie a few years ago, and I found a Christmas card inside it from her. It's a lovely story of family, self-discovery, friendship and first love, as well, of course, of the world of fanfiction and geekery. Yet I've found myself feeling a little sad while reading it. Protagonist Cath's feelings of growing apart from her twin sister made me think of one of someone who was one of my best friends for several years, who I love very dearly, and yet whenever I see her (which is less and less frequently each year) we no longer seem able to agree on anything. I haven't even heard from her since the new year, and I miss her. I miss the time when we used to be in tune with each other's thoughts, and could talk and laugh for hours on end. Such is life, I know, but I wish it wasn't. 

What else I've been up to: Very little. I had made plans to meet a (different) friend for dinner this evening, but she had to cancel. I've done a little crocheting, transferred some music files from my computer onto my phone, and now intend to finish Fangirl, possibly watch an episode or two of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Please note: I'm away from Wednesday 17th, and not taking my computer with me, so there won't be any more blog updates until after the rereadathon. I'll do a wrap-up post next week, and keep updating Instagram and possibly Twitter.


  1. Aww, I missed the re-read-a-thon! Never mind, I've had a sort of re-ready year, so I can't really complain :)

    I've never seen the Discworld books divided into 'types' before though, like that City Watch one. It's a good idea because I tend to go through phases of reading all the Vimes books, or all the Death books, or the Witches books... Hmm. *investigates eBay*

    I LOVED 22.11.63 and wouldn't shut up about it for a year. Loved it desperately. I know I SHOULD reread it, but I just don't think I can face it. It broke me into little tiny pieces and I'm just not ready for that again!

  2. That's sad that Cath and whatsherface growing apart made you think of a friendship turning sour... That part of the book was really hard to read, the twin seemed almost cruel for so much of it. My favourite bit was Cath reading The Outsiders to Levi, that was so adorable. I didn't like it nearly as much as Attachments overall though.

    And can I just say, that although I'm sure this isn't the case all the time (as in any tourist area and any LIFE full stop), your days on the beach and in the park just sound so idyllic! We don't have a proper park here (without going into town and walking for ages), and there's no loo at the little one in my village (which is being slowly taken over by housing anyway), AND I can't enjoy good food there any more because of my stupid stomach. I like enjoying yours, through your eyes, is what I'm saying. It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling because I don't get to experience these things in real life any more. Thanks! :)


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